FEIN - Federal Employer Identification Number

Submitted by Ganesh on Mon, 09/03/2007 - 06:44
Businesses use the FEIN number to identify themselves for tax reporting, banking and other reasons. Just like Social Security Number is specific to a certain person, the FEIN number is also specific to a certain business.

What is a FEIN number?

FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number is also known as Federal Tax Identification Number. This 9 digit code is used by businesses in order to classify and identify them as a tax payer, for banking services and other official and legal purposes. Businesses with no employees and sole proprietorship may use the Social Security number for tax reporting. But for companies with employees must have FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number. For each business owned by the same person, a different FEIN number would be required. It is unique to a business just like Social Security number is unique to an individual.

How to apply for FEIN?

Although an application for FEIN may take weeks to get processed, it is actually very easy to apply for FEIN.

You may collect an SS-4 Form from the office of IRS or the Social Security Office, fill it out and send it to the office of IRS. There is no application fee. Make sure you send it through registered post to guarantee the safe delivery of your form. You can download PDF version of IRS SS-4 form from here.

IRS has launched their interview style application for FEIN where they ask you certain questions online and update their system based on the information that you provide them. There is no form to fill out and there is no lengthy process of waiting for the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) either. If you are using their system of interview style application:
  • You don't need to fill out an SS-4 form and send it to the IRS office anymore
  • You don't have to get into the lengthy process of application for FEIN
  • You must answer the online questionnaire provided by them
  • IRS will then validate the data that you have provided
  • You will receive your EIN number immediately after successful verification

IRS allows you to make an online application.

How to find FEIN number?

If you are looking for the FEIN of a company you may locate it using several different ways. Following are few of the ways you can locate EIN:
  • For public companies you may check out the 10-Ks, 20-Fs and other SEC filings. These companies often print the EIN on the first page of such filings. These SEC filings may be found through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR database. It is free of charge.
  • For non-profit organizations you may check Form 990 in order to get the EIN. These organizations often include their EIN on this form that provides financial information and the names of executives of these companies. You may check Guide Star to access the database where you can find the Form 990 of several organizations. This is a free service.
  • Private companies may have it in their company website or the company invoice. You may use the website of KnowX which is a commercial vendor that allows you to search using a FEIN that displays a list of relevant results. You may be required to pay for their services.

Why do you need FEIN?

Following are a few situations when the Federal Employer Identification Number is required:
  • For starting a new business which is not a sole proprietorship
  • Purchase of an ongoing business
  • Any change in the organization type
  • When hiring employees for the first time
  • To create a pension plan in office
  • To form a trust

Can I use FEIN to purchase insurance?

Federal Employer Identification Number works best with businesses and not with purchasing insurance. Insurance companies prefer your Social Security Number rather than your Federal Employer Identification Number.

How is FEIN compared to Social Security Number?

FEIN is used by employers, partnerships, sole proprietors, non-profit organizations, trusts, corporations, estates, government agencies and other business entities. Employers may choose to use either their Social Security Number (SSN) or their FEIN for reporting taxes withheld on behalf of their employees. However, the credit bureaus and credit issuers can tell between SSN and FEIN.

Related Readings

What is a FEIN number?

Posted: 04 Sep 2007 04:58 Post Subject: What is a FEIN number?

Hi friend!
Let me try to get you a fair idea of what FEIN is all about!
A FEIN number is a Federal Employer Identification Number. It is often regarded as the Federal Tax Identification Number. It is also regarded as a corporate substitute of your social security number which is also a nine digit number. It is used to report employment taxes. Now, this FEIN is offered to you from the Internal Revenue services Dept. in order to identify you as a valid business entity belonging to the US business industries.

Now, whenever it is meant to be used for identification purposes then it is often termed as a TIN and when it is associated with tax reporting then it is called a EIN. Hope, now there's no more confusion regarding what is fein ! Regards, Fatman

Posted: 04 Sep 2007 06:46 Post Subject: What is a FEIN number? How is it different from SSN?

Hi .. what is a fein number!
FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number is just the other word for an EIN. EINS are associated with Business organizations, non-profit organizations corporations, agencies etc.

While identifying the tax payers' contributions towards the business returns, this number has a crucial role to play. It is the employers' choice whether they would like to use their EIN or the SSN towards reporting the volume of taxes that have remained pending for their employees.

It is easy for the credit bureaus to demarcate between the SSN & EIN as SSN is associated with one's place of origin & likewise records. Thanks, Juanita

Posted: 04 Sep 2007 07:08 Post Subject: fein insurance - pour more topics relevant to our industry!

Hi all!

This is good to see some of the vital financial queries are coming up at our forums everyday! But at the same time I also noticed that a majority of them like 'this one' are general finance queries. Therefore I feel the urge to appeal to all of you members to add more queries referring to global insurance !

Posted: 04 Sep 2007 08:38 Post Subject: what is a fein number ..the different ways..

hi, I have found out that there is a slight difference between the way these EIN & SSN are projected....EIN comes in the form 00-0000000 while the SSN comes in the form 000-00-0000. Incase a businesshouse doesn't have an EIN then it can't file its yearly tax returns. Yeah, for the ownership businesses the SSN is used for the tax purposes instead of the EIN.

Posted: 11 Sep 2007 03:52 Post Subject: what is a fein number?

Hi,Ganesh,the fein number stands for the Federal Employer Identification Number. The Office of Business Affairs at the University of Illinois requires that every requester provide their FEIN. if you have some doubts ,you can give us respond.

Posted: 11 May 2008 06:51 Post Subject: Federal Employer Identification Number

I don't have employees and I wanted to know if an EIN or FEIN would be suitable for me instead of my social. I don't want to use my social.

Posted: 28 Sep 2009 01:00 Post Subject: FEIN fund transfer

Is it illegal to transfer fund from original FEIN Number to different FEIN number? What is proper procedure to transfer?

Posted: 28 Sep 2009 10:59 Post Subject: About FEIN

Hello Everybody

I want to know if i can do business with the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) if i have only the TIN, i have not SSN but if i pay the taxes for a sole propietorship....

Somebody can help me

Thank you

Posted: 29 Sep 2009 05:02 Post Subject: How Can I change my Social Credit Number with EIN number

I registered an EIN number with my social credit number about 4 months ago, can I change it social credit number to my husband's social credit number?


Thanks for your help.

Posted: 16 Oct 2009 04:34 Post Subject: FEIN Number

What if i have not hired employees by the date i submitted on my registration? will i still need to file tax forms>

Posted: 24 Oct 2009 05:00 Post Subject: Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) query

In 2008 we had a babysitter that we reported on our taxes. She now says she needs our FEIN # for unemployment benefits. My filed return doesn't seem to show any FEIN # and if I used my SS# instead, I'm not comfortable giving her that number, even though I want to help her. Any ideas on how I can help her?


Posted: 24 Nov 2009 09:30 Post Subject: Tax number

I want to be able to go to wholesalers and not pay taxes. What form should I fill out?

Posted: 09 Dec 2009 09:24 Post Subject: EIN

The IRS (SS4 Form, etc.) uses "EIN", but the IRS does not use "FEIN". Why do you use "FEIN" rather than "EIN"?

Thank you.

Posted: 15 Dec 2009 10:48 Post Subject:

Can you obtain an ein number if you are not a us resident?
If yes, do you have to pay taxes?

Posted: 17 Dec 2009 02:23 Post Subject: summarizing peck pchild

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Posted: 18 Dec 2009 09:02 Post Subject: check federal employer identification number

how do i check the federal employer identification number by parties?

Posted: 27 Dec 2009 05:39 Post Subject: employers tax id numbers

I need to locate an employers tax id numbers.I have 1 it is 11-3683996 I need the other one necessary to file Federal tax return.Employer name is Roadside Trailer Services 6501 St Clair Ave East St Louis,IL 62203 phone (618)394-1170 They will not EVER return my calls.Is the number I have the Federal number or the State of IL number?Please help! Thank You!!

Posted: 06 Jan 2010 08:28 Post Subject: FEIN #


Posted: 12 Jan 2010 08:28 Post Subject: change in ownership

does a person need to obtain a new EIN when buying an ongoing business fron another individual

Posted: 13 Jan 2010 10:24 Post Subject:

Can you buy a house using your FEIN if it's for your business?

Posted: 20 Jan 2010 08:06 Post Subject: ein

i need to get this # to file my taxes can i get it online

Posted: 21 Jan 2010 02:18 Post Subject: Additional EINs

If a business owner or organization didn't know their previously assigned EIN when opening up a bank account, would it be acceptable to go online and quickly obtain a new EIN to replace the old one, in order to facilitate the opening of the new account? The IRS apparently requires businesses to obtain new EINs for certain reasons, but if one of those reasons isn't present, will obtaining a new EIN create difficulties?

Posted: 22 Jan 2010 10:19 Post Subject: is it a scam or not

Priceline Service
7500 Boulders View Dr.
Richmond, VA 23225
I need to know if they have a F.E.I.N number or if they are even registered in the state

Posted: 17 Mar 2010 03:03 Post Subject: federal agencies

do federal agencies have an fein?

Posted: 19 Mar 2010 10:19 Post Subject: FEIN

Is it illegal for a company to provide their FEIN to a potential customer?

Posted: 25 Mar 2010 05:09 Post Subject: FEIN number

Our business has a EIN number. Is this the same or different than a FEIN number?

Posted: 08 Apr 2010 03:56 Post Subject: Fein number

I'm a candidate for Alderman. Do I need a fein number to start my campaign organization even though everyone will be volunteering?

Posted: 24 Apr 2010 10:58 Post Subject: fein

does a church need a fein

Posted: 02 May 2010 12:52 Post Subject: ein

i have a previous ein number, am going to try and start my own buissness again, is my ein still still valid and since i will be doing this solely by myself do i need a new number or can i keep the existing number though i havent used it in 2/3 years

Posted: 03 May 2010 09:50 Post Subject: FEIN Verification

I need verification of my Fein Number 43-2096806 Where can I get a copy of this?

Posted: 03 May 2010 10:33 Post Subject:

Answers to questions about Employer Identification Numbers are best researched on the IRS.GOV website or your state's tax authority's website.

Posted: 14 May 2010 04:11 Post Subject: FEIN

When do you apply for a FEIN - before or after you apply for incorporation?

Posted: 14 May 2010 08:00 Post Subject:

When you are considering being in business is a good time to apply. If you already have employees, it's kind of hard not to already have one.

Posted: 18 May 2010 08:38 Post Subject: SSN FEIN conflicts

Is it possible, at least in theory, that an SSN for an individual, can be exactly the same as a FEIN for a business? Does/could this create any conflicts that you are aware of?

Posted: 18 May 2010 09:14 Post Subject:

Technically, the two are different. A sole proprietor with no employees is encouraged by the IRS to use only his SSN, but there is nothing to stop him from obtaining a FEIN. If a business is incorporated, operates as a partnership, LLP, or LLC, it will need a FEIN separate from any principal's SSN or TIN, whether there are any employees or not.

A non-US citizen/non-legal resident here on a visa who wants to conduct some sort of business in the US (such as a bank or brokerage account) needs a personal TIN (taxpayer ID number) to be able to report personal taxable events (income, capital gains, etc), especially those subject to "backup withholding", in addition to a FEIN as a business owner.

A TIN and a SSN are also not the same thing, although they mostly do the same things . . . allow one to report income for tax purposes -- the single biggest difference being the non-citizen/non-legal resident is not supposed to pay into Social Security/Medicare, because they are not supposed to be enrolled in those systems.

TINs are also issued to non-natural entities such as charitable foundations and trusts for the purpose of reporting taxable revenue or distributions, if any. Obviously, these entities have no need for Social Security or Medicare.

Posted: 23 May 2010 03:56 Post Subject: What is my FEIN Number?

What is my FEIN Number?

Posted: 23 May 2010 03:56 Post Subject: What is my FEIN Number?

What is my FEIN Number?

Posted: 26 May 2010 04:48 Post Subject:

If you have applied to the IRS for a FEIN, you would be given a number with the following numeric format: XX-XXXXXXX .

If you've never applied for a FEIN, you do not have one.

Posted: 07 Jun 2010 05:01 Post Subject: cannot obtain from a business

did a paid out to a business, B&G Towing, Crew's Towing, All-Over Towing (?) Name on receipt was All-Over Towing, had been marked out and Crews hand written to the right, called for EIN#, (7 requests) still will not give EIN#, business located at 541 Macy Grove Rd., Kernersville, NC 27284, what next?

Posted: 08 Jun 2010 04:40 Post Subject:

IRS regulations require a Form W-9 to be filled out by any vendor who is expected to be paid $600 or more in a tax year. This information is used to provide the required Form 1099 at year-end.

If you are not getting cooperation from the vendor, you should do one of two things: (1) write the vendor a very strongly worded letter indicating that you are ready to make a complaint to the local field office of the IRS if they fail to return the enclosed Form W-9 within 5 business days. If they don't comply, then file the complaint.

Or (2) bypass the letter to the vendor and go directly to the IRS field office with the matter.

I would recommend (1) as your first course of action.

Posted: 08 Jun 2010 08:27 Post Subject:

so FEIN is only for business?

FEIN is the abbreviation for:

Federal Employer Identification Number

It is required of any "person" who must file a payroll tax return and deliver Form W2 to employees. That could be an individual or a business (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLP, LLC, or corporation). It includes governments and government agencies, as well as colleges, universities, and churches, synagogues, and mosques.

Posted: 12 Jun 2010 10:33 Post Subject: Can I use my already existing FEIN to start another business

Can I use my already existing FEIN to start another business?

I currently have a business license (LLC) in the state of Hawaii... I would like to start another LLC, possibly in a different state, relating to a completely different type of business, and was wondering if I need to obtain a new FEIN number for the new business.

Posted: 14 Jun 2010 03:53 Post Subject:

Yes . . . unless you intend to commingle everything and get yourself in trouble with all manner of taxing authorities.

Two separate businesses . . . two separate FEINs.

Posted: 14 Jun 2010 03:55 Post Subject:

Yes . . . unless you intend to commingle everything and get yourself in trouble with all manner of taxing authorities.

Two separate businesses . . . two separate FEINs.

Posted: 17 Jun 2010 06:29 Post Subject: FEIN

Great post and very thorough. Could there be a bit of confusion toward the end of the article? It states you should use SSN to purchase insurance, then goes on to explain that you use FEIN for corps, partnerships, etc.

It seems to me that the purpose of FEIN is to identify a business. I would never use my SSN to purchase insurance for my corp. The corporate veil may be compromised if I mix personal information with corporate info. What are your thoughts?

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 04:28 Post Subject:

When you review the IRS guidance for FEIN, you'll see that since a corporation, partnership, LLC, or LLP cannot have a SSN, it must have a FEIN. Sole-proprietors who have employees are encouraged to obtain a FEIN.

Persons who are in the United States to conduct business but do not intend to seek residency status yet may have a personal income tax liability as a result of their business activities (or investments) applies for a TIN (Taxpayer ID Number).

Although not prohibited, however, the IRS prefers that self-employed sole-proprietors who are not incorporated, and who do not have or intend to have employees, use their SSN for tax reporting purposes rather than a FEIN so that they do not list multiple numbers referring to themself on the same return (in addition to that of a spouse as joint filer and children or other dependents). Just too confusing.

Hope this helps.

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 12:54 Post Subject: Fein no of Crown oil corp.

I have been searching for the Fein no. of Crown oil Corp used to be located at 351 California St. Ssan Francisco Ca. 94104. It was established in the 60's but close operation in july 1990.If you cannot gve me the fein no. please inform me the procedures to find it.Thanks for your information about the pin in your publication. It is a geat help to me to undestand Fein.

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